SET Journal, 07/11

Today, Kevin Wallen, Lecia Gordon, Christina Xu, Larisa Mann and Wayne Matthias went to both Tower Street and Fort Augusta.At Tower Street, Wayne and Christina spent some time working on the radio station’s problem with recording, which appeared to be partially fixed. The SET executive board met with Kevin, Larisa and Lecia in attendance (and occasionally Officer Johnson).

The SET secretary kicked off the meeting by sharing with us the minutes from the previous meeting. In the ensuing discussion, there were technical concerns and organizational concerns on everyone’s mind: some pointed out that the transmitter was not reaching all of the prison equally, and it was agreed that work would continue to focus and direct the transmitter. In addition, many were concerned about the inmates who don’t have their own radios, and thus couldn’t hear SET programming. One solution suggested was installing speakers or possibly asking about the use of the existing PA system so that inmates who do not have radios could also listen. The Station Manager and the news team raised another concern: they were having some difficulty getting access to newspapers from which to derive the daily news headlines. There was also some discussion about the need for systematic and reliable communication within the SET hierarchy about new projects, and also about more of this among the DCS officers and between SET and the officers.

Turning to the next in a long series of events SET has planned to develop the skills and build the characters of all involved, the SET executive board agreed on some timelines for organizing the spelling bee that will occur at the end of the month. Kevin also announced that later this week we would return with our latest intern, here for only a week, Wayne Marshall of Boston, who would train interested members on the FL Studio music production system.

Next Kevin Wallen &Co went into the recording studio to observe inmates working on mixing a sweetly sung song that had been recorded previously. During this time Wayne Matthias finished installing some programs on the radio station computer and the studio and helping the inmates on editing skills in the studio as well

We arrived at the Fort Augusta facility in the afternoon, perfectly timed so as to coincided with a new associate of SET, Colleen Diedrich a psychologist. Walking past the puppy keeping watch over the guard house, we made our way to a meeting of the SET-Fort Augusta, consisting of several inmates and one officer, in the chapel.

Today the SET-Fort Augusta meeting focused mainly on building rapport through conversation on a chosen topic. Here, the chosen topic of the day was “What is good parenting?” The SET members, a wide range of ages and experience, but nearly all mothers, shared many interesting opinions and experiences from their own lives, and invited those attending to contribute as well. Christina, Larisa and Lecia shared their thoughts as non-parents, while Kevin gave a father’s perspective. Psychologist Colleen was particularly in demand as SET members asked about dealing with children’s questions about sex or other intimate issues, and the main agreement and theme of the discussion all along was “communication and respect” – take the time to listen to kids’ questions and answer them honestly -particularly about sex, do not be shy but explain the facts simply and directly. Otherwise, they will learn elsewhere, and may get the wrong idea.

Over the sea breeze blowing in the chapel door, Kevin described the importance of linking up SET Fort Augusta with SET Tower Street and SET South Camp – the main way to do this would be through timing events that would occur simultaneously at all three facilities. The SET- Fort Augusta members agreed to shift their schedule to synchronize with what was happening with the other facilities. The meeting ended with the joining of hands between SET members and visitors, and the recital of the SET motto: “From darkness to light, From evil to good, from ignorance to enlightenment.”

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